The Great Academy Read: Volume 2

Cora Mundy, Arts and Entertainment 

Staten Island Academy: The Staten Island Academy (SIA) middle school newspaper, “The Maroon and Gold” will feature a second volume of “The Great Academy Read” to encourage reading. This volume features interviews with Hana R. (grade 5), Erin S. (grade 8), and Ms. Rizzo that discuss how their favorite books have affected them. 

Hana R. in grade 5 told us that the book that has influenced her the most is “Lucky Broken Girl” by Ruth Behar. She said, “Lucky Broken Girl Impacted me because I never realized how hard it is for people to move to a new place, especially if they are not that well off.” This is a lesson about the hardships of change that everyone can learn from. Hana says, “I hope this can impact others to realize how lucky they are compared to the people in this book and I hope they learn to always try to be optimistic.” 

Erin S. in grade 8 told us that the book that had influenced her the most is “Piecing Me Together” by Renee Watson. She said, “Piecing Me Together by Renee Watson impacted me because I could really relate to the protagonist in many aspects, and her story had a deep meaning to me.” Erin says the story had a close meaning to her because of her deep relationship to the protagonist. “The protagonist and I are both African American females and teenagers, and we both attend private schools.” Therefore, Erin strongly connects to the story. She hopes that this book can impact others, too. She says, “I hope others are impacted by the story of the protagonist and the words she uses to describe how she’s feeling. The author goes into great depth and uses such descriptive words to express the situation of the protagonist, thus giving the reader a specific image and conveying the story how the author pictured it, and I hope that captivates readers as they read the book.” This is a truly great and influential book.  

Ms. Rizzo had told us that the book that has impacted her the most is “To Kill A Mockingbird” by Harper Lee. She said that “It confirmed that you can’t ever tell by looking at someone what they are like because of Boo Radley. Somebody can appear to be a monster, but they are the kindest person.” This is an important lesson that many others can relate to and soon come to learn. She hopes that it will influence others “In the same way, that people will realize that the term ‘Don’t judge a book by its cover’ is very accurate for people.” When asked what character she relates to the most she says, “Boo Radley because I have had misjudged at times or misunderstood because I have been thought of differently than how I am.” These are powerful lessons about the truth to being kind that can influence others around the globe.